NASHVILLE (NewsNation Now) — The final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will kick off Thursday night in Nashville, Tennessee.
The event, which will feature new rule changes, begins at 9 p.m. ET at Belmont University.
The 90-minute debate will be divided into six 15-minute segments, with each candidate granted 2 minutes of uninterrupted opening statements. While a candidate answers during the 2-minute period, their opponent’s microphone will be muted to prevent interruptions.
The open discussion portion will not feature a mic-muting option, though the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates noted that “time taken up during any interruptions will be returned to the other candidate.”
The debates commission announced the rule changes Monday, several weeks after Biden and Trump faced off for the first presidential debate. In a statement, the commission said it “had determined that it is appropriate to adopt measures intended to promote adherence to agreed-upon rules and inappropriate to make changes to those rules.”
According to the Commission on Presidential Debates, the moderator, NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker, will ask the candidates to debate the following topics:
- Fighting COVID-19
- American Families
- Race in America
- Climate Change
- National Security
Trump and Biden will be separated on the debate stage by two large plexiglass shields, which will be placed in front of the candidates’ lecterns.
A second debate was originally scheduled for last week, but it was cancelled after the commission shifted to a virtual format following Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis. The president had pushed back on the change, and the candidates ended up holding dueling town halls instead.
The last debate comes less than two weeks before Election Day.